Dear Mother of my Past,

I see you sitting in the corner with your chai tea latte, biscotti and stroller. Looks like this may be your first adventure out of your house with your new baby. She’s all cuddled in her stroller dressed in the onesie from grandma, along with a beautiful rose blanket with a satin trim from your baby shower. The special bow that her aunt gave her is around her tiny soft head. Her eyes are closed peacefully as she sleeps and is told by a passerby how adorable and beautiful she is. It’s easy to look at this scene as an outsider and smile for you. New mothers and new babies can stop a conversation and any train of thought. Even with the soft filter and calmness that comes from you, I know this is one of the shortest periods of your day. I hope you’re enjoying it because when you walk in that door of your house, you’re back. It’s not a happy “Honey I’m home!” feeling where you are excited and feel welcomed. Most of the time you dread coming home and going right back to where you were 30 minutes ago. The place you were escaping.

You don’t know what else to do with her right now. Sitting in your home seems to be the safest and easiest option. It’s winter, it’s cold, gathering the items for the diaper bag, wondering if she’ll need to be fed (AGAIN) and if you’ll get any glares for nursing her, what if she cries, what if she has a diaper blow out, what if you run into someone (remember, you haven’t showered nor have any makeup on), you really don’t feel like talking to anyone, and next thing you know the excuses build up and you just toss in the towel and say “F it!” and sit back down on the couch with her. She’s nursing round the clock anyways so perhaps this is just temporary and you should be staying at home.

You’re probably saying “Well, it’s not like I’m TOTALLY alone right now, we’ve had a lot of visitors since we got home.” I, too, had many people that dropped by after my daughter was born, reached out to see how the baby was doing, some even brought a meal or even offered to pick up my house.  But then the visits will stop.  The reach outs and “need anything?” texts will be fewer.  You’re not reaching out either, you don’t want to bother anyone or make anyone notice that you are drowning in this mom crap. With as much help as your mom has been, you even feel you’re asking too much from her.  You’re a perfectionist on top of it, and so hard on yourself if you can’t figure it out on your own. This is not something you’re going to fail at, even if you’re on Dr. Google at 3am overanalyzing the 15 different pieces of advice on why she won’t latch. To you, asking for help means you are failing. Where is this “mommy instinct” they talk about anyways?

But if you’re on a deserted island with no compass,

how are you supposed to find it?

So not only are you totally insecure about this mommy thing, but you haven’t been taking care of yourself either.  You feel guilty for even thinking about spending time with friends or leaving your baby for 10 minutes to take a shower. You honestly get drained from just thinking about putting on makeup and blow-drying your hair- or even simply washing it. There were times I simply took a baby wipe and went through my bits for my daily “shower”.  When someone mentions the weekly date-nights they have, your head spins at what you and your partner would even do, who would watch the baby, how much milk would you have to pump, how much formula to make, the pain-in-the-ass pumping when you get home, your boobs leaking at the dinner table, your mind is distracted by wondering if the baby is crying, is she sleeping, why haven’t I heard from my mother-in-law, my mother-in-law won’t stop texting me, I’m not even enjoying this glass of champagne, is my partner even attracted to me right now, is he bored, we have nothing to talk to, we are both exhausted, OH MY GOD make it stop. I know, I always wondered if it would even be worth it as well. So we didn’t have a date night for a long time. We survived.

I see you sitting in the corner.  Like Baby from Dirty Dancing, I can see your insecure expression, tightened lips, and fear of where you are at in life.  In the movie, Johnny’s hand stretches out across the table and passes Baby’s parents without even glancing at them.  There wasn’t even a question if Baby would grab it because she yearned for it. My friend, no one is here to save you, but I am here with my hand reaching out. To be by your side, make you feel normal, ease the guilt, shine the light on reality, and most importantly to be your friend.  You see, as I look at you I’m also looking in a mirror and remembering things that I’ve gone through. I haven’t forgotten how hard it can be and what my life was like that first year. Or second. Or third. I, too, hid it from the ones that love and care about me. The ones that wanted to help and extend their hand to me from across the table. I will tell you this, no one will put you in the corner other than yourself. There are times when we can get our ass up and step out on the dance floor but let’s be honest, there are times when we need supportive and empathetic moms to drag us out there too. There’s nothing wrong with how you get there as long as you get there and start dancing.

Love, The Mother You’ll Eventually Be

Want in on a secret? You can have the feelings you're having and still love your baby at the same time. Don't believe me? Get my Momspirational Cards today!

Almost done! Please check your inbox for a confirmation email!